Acclaimed for his paintings, as well as for his sculpture, Sheldon Harvey’s work is in many serious art collections, as well as museums.
He has won the coveted Best in Show at Santa Fe Indian Market, a few years ago, as well as many other awards.
His sculptures are imaginative pieces, based on memories of Navajo lore, as told by his grandfather and uncles, during his childhood.
Imbued with traditional spirituality, they are colorful, compelling, abstract and non-specific, like this one.
The humanoid figure has a large tablita on its head, as a ceremonial dancer would. The tablita is decorated with a large sun-like face, with red horns.
The eyes of this symbol indicate it is a Ye’i, a benevolent Navajo spirit; the spiky element that rises from its mouth represents a cornstalk.
According to a reference book, the horns add more power to the Ye’i’s fulfillment of prayers, in this case, for an abundant harvest and healthy crops.
Predominant colors are warm yellows and gold with accents of blue and green. The warm colors symbolize sun and warmth; the cool hues refer to the sky and water, and growing plants.
Nature is depicted in balance, as it must be for crops to thrive.
On the figure’s chest, four circles are separated by the arms of a cross-like symbol. The circles symbolize raindrops; the cross signifies that this blessing should extend to all four corners of the earth.
The underlying meaning of the sculpture is to invoke a bountiful harvest, thanks to a balance between sun and water, all year long.
Good health, happiness, and prosperity will follow. This is a central theme for all the tribes of the high desert, expressed here in a delightfully creative, Navajo guise.
A happy, uplifting palette, a neo-archaic form, and an age-old theme, combine in a powerful sculpture, that is decorative at the same time.
Radiant with vibrant color, and a happy message, this is another joyous work by an exceptional and renowned artist, in total command.